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What to do with inherited furniture? Give it away, Sell it or Reupholster it?

Most people have fond childhood memories of a piece of furniture a relative once owned, just by seeing and feeling that furniture can bring back emotions. From your Great-Aunties artfully carved dining room chairs perhaps to your Grandmothers antique sofa, even the smell of a piece can evoke a memory.

When the unfortunate time comes you inherit that piece of furniture you are suddenly left with the feeling it will never fit in with the rest of your decor and in this sense inherited pieces of furniture can be a blessing or a burden. Before deciding what to do you first need to consider the following:

    • Is it comfortable?
    • Is it of good quality?
    • Is there a place for it in your home?

If your answer is 'no' to these considerations then you shouldn't burden yourself with sentimental value as you will get no real enjoyment from the piece, which is not what your relative intended. If it isn't of good quality then it may not be a good idea spending money on something that could fall apart.

With a little bit of work however, most furniture can be revitalised with fresh fabrics and custom details to be more comfortable and fit in with your decor.

With exception, all good quality furniture is worth restoring, even if a sofa or chair is decades old. If it has a quality frame it is worth keeping. The quality of a sofa or chair is found within the carcass, this should be made of a hardwood such as Oak or Alder, have good lines and have been kiln dried so that the wood doesn't warp or crack during changes of temperature and humidity. Most people won't be able to know this just by looking at a sofa but there are many experts (Upholsterers) that can give you free advice such as Plumbs.

Re-upholstering can literally transform an old sofa to new, from the springs, filling and foam being replaced to the frame being reinforced if necessary. The shape of the furniture cannot be changed but the piece can be slightly re-styled or made more comfortable using certain techniques. Choosing the right fabric will really make difference to how the piece will look and fit in you home, fabric can deliver a more traditional or contemporary style. These custom details will make your furniture a one off.

You don't necessarily need to go as far as reupholstery, Loose Covers can be equally as impressive at transforming your sofa. If the quality, comfort and style or your inherited furniture is pleasing enough then just by changing the fabric, colour and texture can give you the look you desire.

Dining chair covers can now update most sets to fit in with contemporary or traditional trends, not only can you just re-cover (or reupholster) the seat, loose covers can now fit completely over the chair with skirts that cover right to the floor.

So, if you inherit a piece of furniture remember there are many ways in which you can make it a unique heirloom to cherish for many years.


Another reason to re-cover your sofa than to buy new!

What else could it be? Yes, you guessed it, 'the environment'.  It seems right now everything is looked at from an environmental impact perspective, so why is buying a new sofa any different?

50,000 items of lounge furniture a year goes into landfill. This is like burying 1000 London buses. When you buy new furniture, your money goes towards a massive amount of raw materials from across the globe including tropical hardwoods, production energy and transport costs.

So don't just think by popping down to your nearest "Sofa Warehouse" the only carbon footprint you'll be making is the emmisions from your car. There is massive amounts of energy used to mass produce this type of cheap furniture, not too mention all the noxtious materials found in some furniture that can take 100's of years to breakdown.

The GOOD news is...

They don’t make it like they used to. Chances are the suite you’ve already got is better made than a new one. Low prices of new lounge suites means……well as the saying goes, You get what you pay for. So if you decided to reupholster or cover the furniture you already have in a fabulous new fabric you can get the latest look in your lounge, save money, cause less impact on the environment and still have your favourite comfortable place to relax, switch off and enjoy yourself.


Spring cleaning

Published by Emma Day in spring cleaning
It is amazing how even the most simple things can make a difference. This article gives lots of ideas from sweeping out the fireplace to making the most of natual sunlight. 

Tips on spring cleaning and getting ready for the year ahead can be found here.


Come and See Plumbs for yourself

Plumbs will be exhibiting at the following events. Why not come and visit us.

These are the first 3 exhibitions we are doing:

    • Sat 15 - Sun 16 March
        • The Ultimate Lifestyle Show
        • Venue - Cymru, The Promenade, Llandudno, L130 1BB, Tel:01492 872000
    • Sat 3 - Mon 5 May.(Bank Holiday weekend)
        • The Design Weekend Home and Garden Exhibition 10th Anniversary
        • Venue - Tatton Park, Cheshire, Exhibiting in the Home and Garden Room Stand HG31
    • Wed 11 - Sun 15 June
        • BBC Summer Festival (formerly BBC Good Homes Show)
        • Venue - NEC Arena, Birmingham,Exhibiting in Hall 6 Fifth Room Stand H4



Stuck on a present for Mothers Day?

Published by Emma Day in
Mother’s Day is just around the corner on 3rd March, so if you’re looking for inspired ideas to show your mum you care, forget the flowers or the chocolates and get her a lasting gift that will brighten her home as well as her day.

To revive that tired looking sofa that she’s always complaining about, why not try a set of removable loose furniture covers? Available in a huge range of fabrics, patterns and colours, our made-to-measure covers are perfect for updating a room in an instant. Or for a more tailored finish, we offer a bespoke re-upholstery service to bring weary furniture back to life – meaning your mum can get the look she’s always wanted but still hang on to her favourite comfy chair.

We also have a range of conservatory furniture covers, spectacular window dressings, hand-made cushions and beautiful accessories to compliment any design. All of our products are made-to-measure following individual requirements, so you can get your mum a gift that’s as special as she is.


Two great little design tools to improve your Interior Design

The first, called Mydeco (, was created by the founders of Martha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman.  Mydeco is currently in beta format but you can still go on and create some great room concepts, once you've created your inspired design you can then purchase all the elements that make up the room, from Curtains to Carpet.

There are currently around 500 retailers such John Lewis and Argos collectively offering over a one million products.  You will be able to build 3D models of your own Living Room and add your preferred decor as well as 3D models of 20,000 items of real furniture to buy.  You can then save your room design then by adding it to your online profile will allow others to comment and give advice. This will form the basis of a social community which will eventually be shareable to other Social networks like Facebook & MySpace.

Hoberman hopes to, "help users make the right decisions about their home’s decor, and get validation from others regarding their taste, in order to avoid room style disasters".

The second tool, Design My Room (, is a very similar US based version but equally as fun and useful.

Have fun playing with the different designs, hopefully you may see our products appearing in the near future.


Offer of the week - 50% off Mandalay Champagne

More than just a beautiful fabric ‘Mandalay’ is one of our ‘Superweave’ quality fabrics that performs even better than it looks! Mandalay simply oozes luxury whilst the intricate design detailing creates pure elegance and style. 

Cover a sofa in Mandalay design, available in 9 colourways, in Designer Elite make-up, now Half Price! Mandalay Chair Covers from £119, was £239, Sofa Covers from £189, was £379, in Designer Un-piped make-up. Furniture must be suitable for Designer make-up.

Click here to view the Sofa Cover offer in more detail...


Extreme Reupholstery

Published by Emma Day in
It doesn't get more extreme than this.  People are often extremely reluctant to part with their furniture, even when things look utterly desperate.

This sofa maybe pushing sentimental attachment to the limits but emotional ties with furniture can often lead to major upholstery repairs.

Interesting Re-upholstery Orders

Last week I was talking about how reupholstery is good for furniture with show wood. Another interesting example appeared this week in the Plumbs re-upholstery workshops. This fascinating chair is one that stands out and really shows how show wood furniture can be transformed.

I haven't seen a recliner before with this footstool arrangement. Very unusual!

The foot rest has the appearance of a drawer which then pulls out. The leather upholstery contrasts well with the newly reupholstered cushions for a really interesting finish.

The heavily carved wooden frame picture 13 contrasts well with the new fabric, a superb end result.

A lot of work and skill goes into this type of project but the end result is worthwhile. These pictures underline the fact that if a piece of furniture has a good frame, it's worth keeping. It's good for the environment and gives really satisying end results. The people doing this work really are taking pride in their efforts.


Make your home more Energy Efficient

There's a really good article here on energy efficiency tips. The one that caught my eye was the tip to close heavey lined curtains as soon as it gets dark.

- Close the curtains to your living room and bedrooms as soon as it gets dark to reduce heat loss through the windows. Heavy or lined curtains are best. Annual savings are approximately £15.

To see the full article please click here...


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